Lakeland Dairies and LacPatrick Dairies have reached agreement to merge following the unanimous approval of the boards of both co-operative societies who are recommending the proposed merger to their respective shareholders.
The two groups said that the merger will underpin a sustainable and competitive milk price for thousands of dairy farming families north and south.
Discussions about a possible merger started last June, and the boards will recommend shareholders to vote in favour of the merger at Special General Meetings which will be held on Tuesday 23rd October next.
Regulatory approval will also be required.
“The Board of LacPatrick firmly believes that an amalgamation with our neighbours in Lakeland Dairies is the best thing for our milk suppliers, shareholders and customers,” said Andrew McConkey, Chairman of LacPatrick Dairies.
“It gives our farmers the necessary security to make long-term business decisions and provides stability for continuing progress in dairy farming for the next generation. The Board of LacPatrick is unanimously recommending our shareholders to approve this merger at our forthcoming SGM.”
Alo Duffy, chairman of Lakeland Dairies said that the merger proposal is “a once in a lifetime opportunity” for both co-operatives to continue their strong progress.
“Both societies are committed to the long-term well-being and economic success of dairy farming, milk producers and rural communities. The proposed merger will uphold these values and will lead to further scale, strength and sustainability for milk producers. It will enable us to process all of the milk sent to us, including the expanding output of our dairy farming members,” he said.
A Co-op Of Scale
Michael Hanley, CEO of Lakeland Dairies, agreed that the mergers will serve the best interests of the shareholders and milk producers of both societies.
“The economies of scale achievable by combining both societies will create a larger, more efficient, diversified, farmer controlled, global dairy food group with a broad portfolio of value-added products and brands,” he said.
“Both co-operatives have excellent facilities, technologies and resources with strong synergies across our milk processing footprint and in the markets we serve at home and abroad. We will be able to expand the potential of our overall portfolio of products, covering Food Ingredients, Foodservice and Consumer Foods.”
McConkey added that with an enlarged milk pool and well-invested dairy processing sites on both sides of the border, the new co-operative will be a co-op of scale working in the long-term best interests of dairy farmers, ensuring global market access.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.